Poe was the saddest and strangest figure in American literature. Jeffrey Meyers' biography portrays the unbearable tensions in his paradoxical character. He was a Virginia gentleman and the son of itinerant actors, the heir to a great fortune and a disinherited outcast, a university man who had failed to graduate, a soldier bought out of the army, a court-martialled West Point cadet, a husband with an unapproachable child-bride, a brilliant editor and a low-salaried hack, a world-renowned but improverished author, the fiance of two women who would not marry him, a normally temperate man and an uncontrollable alcoholic, a rationalist with a mystical cast of mind, a materialist who yearned for a final unity with God. Poe was the prototype of the self-destructive American writer. Throughout his life he would repeatedly strive for a desperately desired goal and, when it was nearly in reach, deliberately destroy his chance of achieving it. After attempting suicide, he tried to drink himself to death and was found in the gutter - delirious, hallucinating and comatose.
Poe's life was as strange as his works and even his most bizarre stories - "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Black Cat" - were autobiographical distortions of his own experience.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 745 g
Dimensions: 240 x 160 mm